You can’t make your family accept you, you can only accept that they don’t
By Sarah Smith
My sister wouldn’t talk to me for almost five years. The original story from my perspective was she was mad at me for not working while I was getting multiple panic attacks a day while pregnant with my first son. At one point she even told me “Fuck your therapist and fuck your doctor, you have a baby on the way you need to make money!” In turn I was like “No I need to take care of this baby and getting worse and worse panic attacks is not taking care of this baby.”
My sister wasn’t accepting who I was or what I was going through and she certainly wasn’t accepting my decision on how to handle it. So she said how worried she was about me and I told her to stop. I simply told her to stop worrying about me and that I was not her problem. This was hard for her; she had been a “mother hen” to me for a long time. I had had enough, however! I was done! I was done following her rules and living by the way she wanted me to. I was in no way trying to hurt her I was just trying to stand on my own two swollen feet so that I could be the best mother I could be for my unborn child. I wanted him to have a strong mother that stood her ground and did what was best for him always and I was going to start immediately. It was so hard but I refused to back down and my decision was made I was going to listen to my therapist and my doctor and take care of my body first so that my body could create the beautiful little boy I have today.
I cried a lot. I was immeasurably grateful to her because she had been there for me when I needed her. I had gone through a very painful breakup with someone that turned out to be basically a sociopath and she and her family had taken me in and helped me cope and supported me in a way that only a true motherly type could do. But this… THIS, I could not just do what she said. No matter how much it hurt me to disagree with her, no matter how much it didn’t make sense to me that she was not understanding my point of view I would go my own way. This was my baby and his life was what mattered most not her opinion and so I chose. I chose to go against her. I chose to go against my “mother hen” that I had been listening to and following instructions from since I was a child but especially for the last few years as I recovered from honest heartache. I had relied on her for so much and now had to basically turn my back on her for the health of my child and it killed me but I was not going to back down. And the one thing that was very different between us, that broke us apart was money of all things.
I hate money! As a mentally unstable person, I don’t really feel a strong reliable connection to money. I can’t always just get up and go to work. I can’t always just “fake it ‘til I make it”. In fact, I suck very much at faking anything. My emotions are worn on my sleeves and I can’t seem to keep them to myself. I have been written up more than once at a place of employment because of my inability to keep my emotions to myself. I tend to offend a lot of people because they think I do not like them when I am stressed but really I am just stressed and it is not personal but no matter how I explain it feelings get hurt and I tend to get into trouble. So advancement in a job is really difficult with the panic attacks and the mood swings and the misunderstanding of my emotions. It is frustrating because I know how awesome of a leader I could be if I could just figure it out. If I could just have the confidence and the ability to keep the anxiety inside. I know without question I would rock a management position. I’m likable and fair and very good at organization. But because I am sick with my disorders I also fail at truly rocking those things when I am under pressure. And I am too open and honest. I can’t help it. I just don’t lie and am always willing to say how I feel and that is bad in a workplace environment. I do not know how to play the game so to speak.
It was even my sister, a different sister for I have three of them, that told me to play the game. I don’t “play the game”! I don’t hide who I am. I won’t either ever! So money and traditional jobs aren’t really easy for me to come by because I don’t play games. I don’t pretend to be something I am not. I am not able to lie, I’m horrible at it and even if I tried anyone with common sense would know I was lying.
So my family doesn’t understand why I don’t hold down a stable job and move out of my soon to be ex-husband’s apartment with our children and be successful and independent and on my own. And they have their points they have very good, valid points. My ex-husband and I are co-dependent on each other and it is not as healthy as it should be. I do need to figure out how to become independent again… or maybe it will be for the first time ever. And it is scary and I don’t think they completely understand that or they do and they just can’t protect me from the scary which is what being independent is all about. As messed up as my beautiful family is I love them with all of my heart and they help me through so much. They hurt me too. They hurt me severely. They tell me I am “playing victim.” They ignore me. They refuse to accept my valid points sometimes. There is always a competition between us which I really wish wasn’t there. There are always those secrets told, those judgments held, those under the breath accusations. No matter what we all are not perfect and we all are broken and unless you are hurting people with your brokenness, your brokenness shouldn’t be more broken than the others. But sometimes it just is because sometimes there is a feeling too strong to accept and it hurts.
I’m a mom and I love it! I like inviting people into my world and making them feel as comfortable as possible. I love all things cheese, jokes included. I’ve had a pretty rough life but therapy and a good attitude have really helped me make the best of things. So welcome to my world, make yourself at home! Follow Sarah on Twitter.